Some nights I just can’t sleep. I pad into the guest room, wrap myself in a blanket, and grab a random paperback. I’ve been on an Andre Norton kick lately and grabbed Moon Called. Perfect choice.
Grandmaster Norton has several different writing styles and this one is in her high fantasy style. The novel is stand-alone, almost a vignette. The Heroine is a fantasy version of a Wiccan, the bad guys are alien and sinister, the “Old Times” gave us radiation and left over tanks. Her religious poetry seems like it’s taken from a Book of Shadows, in fact I’m working one of the poems into mine.
The book is not about the plot or action or even defeating evil. It’s about it’s Wiccan heroine finding purpose and solace in her love for the Lady. One reviewer on GoodReads mentioned how much this book meant to her in 6th grade in the early 80s and how it help formulate her adult identity.
Her review was written a decade before I read Moon Called. It lead me into thinking about how random books can shape a personality seeking adolescent. How my own life was shaped by Zelanzy’s mythopoeia, Moorcock’s despairing heroes.
I’ve been reading Ms. Norton since my early days but I’m only now understanding her constant current of influence on me. Damned subtlety.
My only complaint about the particular style of this book by Mother Andre is what I call the “fog”. Her dark fairy tales make me feel that sometimes we enter a fog-drenched part of the woods and I lose the thread for a paragraph or for a several pages. Doesn’t matter the time of day I’m reading. I know, this is more on me, I start daydreaming within the prose. I’m afraid I’ve been ruined by short attention entertainment. I should read more.